Freischwimmer 54, 2004
Regen Projects is pleased to announce an exhibition by German born photographer, Wolfgang Tillmans. Tillmans lives and works in London and was the winner of Britain's Turner Prize in 2000. Born in 1968, Tillmans has emerged as one of the most influential and innovative photographers of his generation. His photographs first appeared in the early 1990s in the pages of such magazines as i-D, Interview, Spex, and The Face. Tillmans has become known for his salon style hangings of bare photographic prints taped to the walls in groupings of images spanning portraits, still-lifes, landscapes, and abstractions - from provocative images of sexual taboo to moments of classical beauty found in unusual or unlikely places. Tillmans views each exhibition as a site-specific installation, often addressing the exhibition space as a larger composition.
Tillmans' work is continually evolving. In an essay, critic and curator, Giorgio Verzotti, discusses one facet of Tillmans' oeuvre: Tillmans' tendency towards abstraction never takes flight towards the skies of idealism, and the flight itself has nothing Promethean about it, because abstraction is regarded from the outset as an inherent characteristic of the way things are.
His recent work is a double register of images and abstract signs that coexist and run on parallel tracks: realistic photos on the one hand, large surfaces that measure up to four to six meters on the other, where pure formal and chromatic values reign, and which the artist entitles "Mental Pictures", "Strings of Life", "Blushes", "Super Collider", "starstruck" etc. according to their respective conceptual foundation, their basic morphological pattern. These are works created without the camera, with the aid of complex manipulations of light and photosensitive paper the artist presently prefers not to reveal. Naturally, chance and control meet in equal measure in the formative process, which is, like other creative processes, not entirely predetermined and governed by the artist.
Thus what originates on the broad surfaces is an inscription of light that becomes event but is organized nonetheless in language, whether formed by evanescent chromatic zones, precise spatial scansions or agglomerations of intense colour. The coexistence of image and abstraction in the artist's recent work once again saves them from the dramatic pathos that these formal ends would achieve if they celebrated a definitive detachment from the visible world. If this doesn't happen it is because, as Tillmans himself says, a total acceptance of life, the ungovernable flow of desire, passes through the work, animating those abstract surfaces after having restored the phenomena of the world to the miraculous light of the "thing in itself" (Verzotti, Giorgio. Wolfgang Tillmans: View from above. published by Hatje Cantz. 2001. pp.15-16).
Tate Britain's extensive mid-career retrospective of Wolfgang Tillmans' work, shown in 2003, was the first time the museum had devoted an exhibition to the work of a single photographer. It followed a major touring European museum exhibition, "View from above," which visited Hamburg, Turin, Paris, and Louisiana, Denmark over 2001 and 2002. Tillmans' work has been exhibited in galleries and museums internationally. Numerous books of Tillmans' photographs have been published. The most recent monographs are: "if one thing matters, everything matters - Wolfgang Tillmans" published by the Tate, "View from above - Wolfgang Tillmans" published by Hatje Cantz and "Portraits - Wolfgang Tillmans" published by Walther König in Cologne.
Exhibition: October 22 - November 27, 2004
Gallery hours: Tue-Sat 10 am - 6 pm
633 North Almont Drive
USA-Los Angeles, CA 90069
Telephone +1 (310) 276-5424
Fax +1 (310) 276-7430